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The Vote: Should we act now to stop the big City bonuses?

Gordon Brown is furious. He bails out the troubled banks with all of our taxpayers' money and then what happens?

Written by . Published on February 24th 2009.

The Vote: Should we act now to stop the big City bonuses?
Yes: - 41%
No: - 59%

They give it to their top operatives in six-figure bonuses, that's what. GB is not the only one who is furious. But is being furious enough?

The major UK banks are now deciding how big a bonus they should give their staff and key executives. They say it's in their employees' contracts, that bonuses are the way to keep their top performers from walking and that it's not just them who do it. In 2007-8, some £128 million was paid out in bonuses to central government officials. The Financial Services Authority paid out almost £14m in bonuses to staff in 2007-8 – just as Northern Rock was collapsing on its watch. And even the 2012 "Olympic Delivery Team" is in line for "performance bonuses".

In the past, bonus payments have made up a substantial part of the income of bankers, and have risen from £5bn to £15bn in the past three years.

But with many banks now facing huge losses, and their share prices having dropped sharply, do bankers, many of whom have behaved appallingly, deserve such pay-outs?

In France, there will be no bonuses in 2009 at banks that have received state aid. And Barack Obama has announced that the top brass in banks who receive further bail-out funds from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program will be subject to a salary cap of $500,000.

But here the Government is trying to use moral pressure to persuade the banks not to pay out, and is asking bankers not to accept these often-massive cash windfalls. There will be a review. Is it enough?

Banks have been built on an extended mountain of debt that they created and now that's collapsed.

You might think about your bank charges and how ordinary punters receive penalties when they require a financial break from the institutions they themselves are now supporting.

Or have we got this all wrong? Would we all not be living our never-had-it-so-good lifestyles now, with cars, plasma tellies and mass home ownership, if it wasn't for the past genius of the finance people at the top?

Go ahead, vote on the homepage. Big bonuses, should we cut them off at the pass right now? Or what?

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

What a Banker!February 10th 2009.

Banks debt is bad news indeed and the fact that Gordon Brown is furious over bonus payments makes me smile. Firstly he did nothing to stop the debt mountain through the regulators he put into place and secondly many of those from the government department who are to police the banks spending are to receive a bonus. The bailed out Northern Rock ( taxpayers money ) will pay a bonus to its staff. Brown is a hypocrite. Have an election Gordon I dare you.

Eight out of 10 catsFebruary 10th 2009.

I have got hundreds of pounds in bank charges which the RBS have snatched when I've gone just a few quid overdrawn, twice now when it was to pay a £5 direct debit to Oxfam. They refused to rescind it. Call me careless, but not as careless as the people who, through their greed and recklessness, are putting thousands out of work every day. And who will pay the benefits of millions of jobless if Brown has given it all to the banks?

Bunty ShawcrossFebruary 10th 2009.

In reference to your photograph at the top of the page, anyone who buys "Bud Lite" is an unfit person to keep animals. I trust that the Editor will report them to the RSPCA?

Quentin BeaujolaisFebruary 10th 2009.

We should not be running the economy or the banking system by acts of spitefullness and we should allow them to keep their bonuses. In fact the best thing to do in the current situation would be to increase the level of bonus payments to retain and encourage the talented amongst them giving an added incentive to try and put things right.

DaveFebruary 10th 2009.

I've just been watching Kelvin McKenzie on Question Time. What a twaat

AnonymousFebruary 10th 2009.

Do the banks really want to keep the guys who have made such an inholy cock up? Let them go now, without their bonuses, and get in people who know what they are doing!!!!

Quentin BeaujolaisFebruary 10th 2009.

VI Lenin, what happened to the other five (V geddit?) you are quite right. They are parasites, I was just trying to whip up a revolutionary mob to storm Castle Street.

Gringo Salad Days Are Here AgainFebruary 10th 2009.

I am intrigued by the 18% who voted 'no' to the 'Vote Now' question. Can any of them explain themselves? Perhaps they just can't read.

stanley dockFebruary 10th 2009.

nationalise the lot of 'em!if they want to bugger off byee! and make yr destination singapore and bugger up that smiling uncuous ba****d on breakfast business news pleeease...

christonacloudFebruary 10th 2009.

someone please explain why 66% out there want to reward these useless twats and not send them overseas

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